Lambeth Council is under pressure to act on lack of meaningful provisions for young people. The council has finally realised that the best action is to get providers under the same roof and ask them some basic questions:
- What activities are you doing this summer?
- What is not being done this summer?
- How do you want us to help you so that you can do the ‘it’ that you are already doing and do it well?
The meeting at Karibu Education Centre was a continuation of the talks held after the Marcus Lipton incident. The young people who used to attend sessions at Marcus Lipton were the central focus of discussions.
This meeting was attended by those committed to working with children and young people. Firmly in the room and wanting to ensure that her constituents were getting the best services possible was our MP, Helen Hayes, accompanied by the local councillors of Coldharbour ward, Cllrs Donatus, Emma Nye and Scarlett O’Hara and council officers. Integrate were invite to pitch for the capacity building work that they were commissioned to undertaking for Lambeth.
In summary, the ideas and questions harvested were:
- Lots of summer activities listed, including those funded by Young Londoners Fund and Young Lambeth Co-op’s early intervention grants
- A common voice to bring back core funding and longer term grants
- Professionalise youth workers in much the same way as chefs have been glamorised
- Collaborative work and shared resources and staff
- Encourage local businesses to employ young people so they can earn money in a positive way – showcase kids and let employers know how cool they are as employees
- Could Lambeth commission alternative pathways and education options other than the PRUs?
- Introduce a programme of ‘gang’s exchange’. For example young people may feel safer doing work experience in Hackney than in the postcode next door to them
- Engage with schools, professionals and faith groups – especially for mental health reasons.
These conversations continue.